Here we introduce everything you need to know about visiting Khavtsgait Petroglyphs in the Gobi Desert – things to do, rock paintings to spot and interpretation, hiking and tours.
As you head to the Flaming Cliffs from the Khongor Sand dunes or in the opposite way, you can visit this petroglyphs. The Khavtsgait is a small sized mountain part of the Gurvan Saikhan Mountain range and located 30km away from Bulgan soum of Umnugovi province. Specialists believe that the Gurvan Saikhan mountain range and Khavtsgait mountain were created around 400-500 million years ago. They also consider the mountains quite young.
Geological composition of Khavtsgait mountain rocks are of sandstones. In the result of hot sun and strong wind for millions of years, rocks surfaces of Khavtsgait Mountain are colored in black and easy to draw on them with any item, leaving light marks. Considering the similarity with other rock paintings and its forms and shapes, researchers believed that the petroglyphs were created about 4000-5000 years ago. It was mid and late Bronze Age to early Iron Age. Professionals determine the age of petroglyphs by its depth of marks, mosses grown on a rock, and as well as a color of a rock which only archeological professionals can do.
Rock Paintings of Khavtsgait
People of this time depicted mostly antelopes, ibexes and mountain sheep, a man on horseback, hunters, galloping horses, hunters, a rare depiction of a camel, wheeled carts and rudimentary gers. These kinds of evidences give us a chance to grasp a glimpse of knowledge about ancient people’s life. Researchers of petroglyphs and rock paintings noticed this place around 2004 and started to study them. However local people have known this place long before them. Basically, surrounding mountains of Khavtsgait have many rock paintings and petroglyphs. Moreover the Petroglyphs of Khavtsgait have their own unique presentation and stories which make them more special than others. Most of the petroglyphs are ranged from the ones which drawn in clumsy shapes using primitive weapon or rocks to the ones which skillfully depicted in more sophisticated way using sharp weapons. You can tell these are the presentation of several periods of human life.
Must See Drawings
The highlight of the petroglyphs is the ‘Gallery of the Khavtsgait petroglyphs’ as Mongolian researchers named. You will find the collection of petroglyphs depicted on a single 1,5×2,0 square flat rock.
Number of scenes depicted there are
- galloping horses
- men on horseback and camel back
- wedding ceremony (aliens on another resource)
- wheeled carts
- argali sheep, etc.
The different people from different period of time had drawn them according to a study.
Hiking to Khavtsgait Petroglyphs
Climbing up to the Khavtsgait mountain is not easy because of its loose rocks. Apart from Khavtsgait petroglyphs, you’ll get to see a great view of surrounding valley from the top of the mountain. While you’re hunting down the gallery and other petroglyphs, you cannot miss the depiction of an ostrich and an auroch. These proofs show us some of the ancient people who drawn these petroglyphs were living same peiod of time of those who lived in the Flaming Cliffs discovered by Roy Chapman Andrews in 1920s.
Tours to Khavtsgait Petroglyphs from Ulaanbaatar
These are the best ways to experience this classic petroglyphs in the Gobi desert ;